Robb Report October 2014


Moving Targa: Porsche hits a bull’s-eye with a top-down redesign of its topless 911. Also included is the Private Aviation Buyer's Guide. Plus, 5 of the world's greatest chefs reveal the most talented artists of the next generationas part of the Culinary Masters Compeition. 

From This Issue

Tricks and Tragedy

On Halloween in 1926, Erik Weisz, better known as Harry Houdini, lay in agony at Grace Hospital in Detroit, Mich. The escapologist, who even today enjoys a fervent following (see “Mad About Harry”), had suffered several blows to the abdomen during a display of his muscular control less than two weeks before, and his physical […]

Game Changers

 Newly opened to the public, Kenya’s Ol Jogi and Enasoit ranches offer distinct private safari experiences. Low-decibel rumbles and pungent aromas fill the air as a family of elephants gathers for a midnight drink around the watering hole at Ol Jogi. Less than 20 feet away, standing silently inside an underground bunker, guests of this […]

Retro Rockets

Bell & Ross’s new wristwatches are fueled by a fast-paced past. Bell & Ross’s new B-Rocket watches debuted just after their namesake, a one-of-a-kind concept motorcycle developed in collaboration with the noted English custom-bike builder Shaw Harley-Davidson. Not surprisingly, given the watch company’s predilection for aviation-influenced design, the motorcycle is loaded with airplane-related design cues; however, […]

Hidden Gems

A designer’s intricate lockets conceal intimate details.   More than 20 years ago, Monica Rich Kosann embarked upon a career chronicling her clients’ families, memories, and histories. Her method of storytelling relies not on pen and paper but on her gifted eye and the lens of her camera: Her black-and-white photographic portraits poignantly preserve moments to […]

Fire on Ice

 Dom Pérignon unveils a radiant new wine amid Iceland’s frozen vistas.  As half a dozen helicopters pass over an iron-hued ridge, a massive apron of ice appears among the deep clefts in the slopes of Eyjafjallajökull, an ice cap located at the southern tip of Iceland. Before this glacier, known as Gígjökull, clusters of wooden […]

A Winning Bet

David McLay Kidd has earned a reputation for building first-rate golf courses in out-of-the-way places. The architect’s designs—which include the original layout at Oregon’s Bandon Dunes, the ingenious Huntsman Springs in Idaho, Guacalito de la Isla in Nicaragua, and Machrihanish Dunes on the Kintyre peninsula of his native Scotland—may be a little difficult to reach, […]

Punter’s Paradise

Sandy Cove is silent as I glide toward the sapphire-streaked icebergs in the distance. Slowly traveling south from Greenland, the behemoth blocks of ice glisten in the warm New­foundland sun, beckoning me to some imaginary finish line. I dip my wooden paddles down and pull, propelling the wooden punt across the surface with a powerful […]

Going Private

New England’s Haystack Mountain is reborn as a membership-based ski resort.  Haystack Mountain, a 3,200-foot peak in southern Vermont’s Deerfield Valley, was one of New England’s top skiing destinations for nearly 50 years. Inconsistent snow conditions eventually led to the resort’s closure, and the mountain sat vacant for almost six years until the Connecticut-based entrepreneur Jim […]

Mad About Harry

Houdini handcuffs, Shackles, and movie posters have not escaped the attention of collectors. Like playing cards in a magic act, collectible items associated with Harry Houdini vanish and then reappear—eventually. Last year, a Southern California antiques dealer discovered a scrapbook that Houdini compiled in 1925 and early 1926. Containing handwritten annotations by Houdini and newspaper […]

Crowning Achievement

Capped with a high-tech top, Porsche’s new Targa recaptures the look and spirit of the original. [bc_legacy_video] The automobile roof with removable or retractable panels has taken various forms, gone by different names, and given a dual personality to the cars that it covers. These vehicles are neither convertibles nor coupes but a little bit of both, […]

Food and Consequences

Master chefs take up the challenge of searching kitchens around the globe for today’s top emerging talents—five remarkable individuals whose lives and careers will be transformed this fall during Robb Report’s third annual Culinary Masters Competition. An excellent dinner can have results other than a sated appetite. In 1485, for instance, King Ferdinand I of Naples laid […]

A Taste of Two Countries

David Bouley discovers that Yoshiaki Takazawa’s cuisine transcends cultural and culinary divides. David Bouley has been at the leading edge of the U.S. dining scene for nearly 30 years. When he opened his first restaurant, Bouley, in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City in 1987, he became one of the original chefs to introduce nouvelle cuisine and the […]

Balancing Act

In Nicolas Delaroque, Nancy Oakes finds a chef who achieves the perfect poise between cutting-edge ideas and soulful French cooking. When Nancy Oakes opened San Francisco’s L’Avenue in 1988, she was one of the first chefs to seriously reconsider American cuisine. Her plates were complex and well-integrated compositions whose side dishes took center stage. A grilled veal […]

Radical Nature

Pierre Gagnaire is inspired by Jean-Marc Boyer’s intense dedication to terroir.  Fearless, daring, and profoundly inventive, Pierre Gagnaire has been called the world’s most inspiring chef thanks to such creations as garlic ravioli in truffle sauce with spring vegetables, rocket juices with tarragon, Bordeaux cannelés, thin-sliced veal kidney with turmeric-tinted grapefruit-and-Guinness sour essence, and a […]

Where There’s Smoke

Dean Fearing savors the open-fire cookery of Nick Badovinus. In 1979, just a year out of the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Dean Fearing drove into Dallas with everything he owned loaded into a Toyota Celica fastback. He immediately felt at home. “It was a brand-new city then,” he recalls. “It didn’t make any […]

Back to the Future

In Josef Centeno, Wolfgang Puck sees another Los Angeles chef capturing a pivotal moment in dining.  When Wolfgang Puck walked into Orsa & Winston—Josef Centeno’s diminutive restaurant in downtown Los Angeles—he found something familiar at the heart of it. “I saw, oh my god, they have a pizza oven like every other restaurant,” he recalls. “Then Josef comes […]

Cape Crusaders

Southern Africa’s leading artists—and the pioneering collectors who have amassed their works—are shaping Cape Town into a capital of the contemporary art world.     Please Don’t Kill Us. The giant block letters emblazoned across the yellow brick wall seemed unnervingly out of place against the peaceful and prosperous backdrop of Cape Town’s Tamboerskloof neighborhood. […]

Secret Service

Six years ago, the U.S. Department of Defense made what could have seemed like a curious purchase under the circumstances, or under any circumstances. With the country engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and with the economy heading into a recession, the department acquired a four-year-old, $5 million Beechcraft King Air 350 whose cabin […]

Flexing Its Muscle

The parent company of Flight Options acquires Bombardier’s fractional service. The private-aviation industry as a whole seemingly has returned to prerecession form, but one segment was forever altered by the financial crash. “If any part of the industry has changed since 2009, when the market dropped, it’s the fractional world,” says Robb Report Private Aviation […]

Joining the Jet Set

The marketing material for Cessna’s new Citation M2 tells prospective owners that this plane is “the upgrade every jet-aspiring aviator has been dreaming of.” This message is directed perhaps to the weekend pilots of Cessna 172s or Cessna 206s, for whom the dream of jet ownership includes more than just visions of reclining in the […]

They Keep Going and Going and Going…

The latest large-cabin ultralong-range business jets promise nonstop service to nearly any destination in the world.  Can a business jet have too much range? This question is becoming ever more relevant as aircraft manufacturers scramble to provide travelers with large-cabin jets that can link nearly any two points on the globe. In May, Gulfstream announced […]

Secondary Thoughts

The economy has rebounded, stock prices are soaring, unemployment is down, but the secondary-aircraft market is still a buyer’s market. Prices of pre-owned aircraft plummeted during the recession that started in 2008, largely because of the flood of planes from owners who could no longer afford them or could no longer justify the cost of […]

Managing Expectations

A large aircraft-management company with a high demand for its charter service might not be a jet owner’s best option. This story is adapted from a study that Robb Report Private Aviation Advisory Board member Kevin O’Leary conducted as part of his PhD coursework at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. O’Leary is the founder and president of […]

Lowering the Boom

Supersonic business jets are being developed, but their noise must be muffled before they can fly over land at full speed.  Though the fastest business jets approach the edge of supersonic flight, with top speeds exceeding Mach 0.9, no civilian aircraft has ventured beyond Mach 1—the speed of sound—since the Concorde fleet was grounded in […]

Building on Success

McLaren’s 650S retains the best parts of its predecessor, the 12C, and adds elements from the marque’s P1 supercar.  McLaren’s status with car enthusiasts is such that the British brand sold out three years’ worth of production of its MP4-12C sports car shortly after introducing the model in 2011. That was about 3,000 examples of […]

Center Stage

A recent influx of high-profile resorts has only refined the low-key appeal of Vietnam’s central coast.   The sharply cresting wave would not look so daunting if I were sitting in a boat. But I am not. Instead, I am shooting the surf of the very choppy East Sea, off the central coast of Vietnam, in […]

The Robb Reader: Salvatore Ferragamo

A conversation with the fashionable hotelier, winemaker, and polo player. Named after his grandfather, Salvatore Ferragamo is inextricably linked to his family’s famed fashion brand. But the 42-year-old Florentine strayed from his clan’s sartorial legacy, instead forging his own path in hospitality and winemaking. After attending boarding school in England—where he developed a fondness for […]